December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

December 14, 2012

Argo (2012)

When it’s over, smart dialogue and suspense kept the film entertaining.  Argo is about the rescue of six American diplomats living as fugitives in 1980 Iran.  The joint CIA and Canadian operation has Agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) posing as a film producer, who attempts to smuggle the Americans out as his film crew.  Affleck’s tract record keeps getting better as he did a terrific job directing and dramatizing a story that many viewers may have forgotten.  I remember hearing about this incident in the 80’s, but knew very little about the facts.  Affleck offered enough of a history lesson to fill me in on the fine points, which kept me engaged through the film.  The camera work and editing are brilliant, mixing archive footage with new film.  Sometimes, I couldn't tell the difference between real images and recreated ones.  It was that seamless.  Alan Arkin and John Goodman are perfectly cast as Lester Siegel and John Chambers, the filmmakers who helped Mendez create a fake film production.  They offered lots of sarcastic humour as they poked fun and insulted Hollywood.  There is a good balance of humor and politics, lending just the right amount of lightness to an, otherwise, heavy topic.  The film was dramatic, but doesn’t drown itself in politics, which was one of the main reasons why the film appealed to me.  On an emotional scale, I didn’t feel any.  Although the plight to freedom was exciting to watch, I didn’t feel the emotional surge at the end, as the film intended.  The side story of Mendez and his son failed to move me.  However, it did give me a better understanding of who Mendez was outside of the political arena.   

My rating: 3.5 out of 5

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